Rick Remender surprised me in a good way with this issue. Last issue we found out that Daken, Wolverine’s troubled son, was leading the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. While Daken’s short-lived series didn’t really call to me, I was quite excited to see what Remender would do with him. Yet the first thing Remender does is send the X-Force off into the future and then Brotherhood is rendered moot. It’s a bold move to spend a few issues introducing the new bad guys and then not using them - although time will tell if/when they will clash with the X-Force.
A couple nerdy things I have to get out of the way before continuing this review. Cable and Hope are both around. Does this mean that Hope survives Avengers vs X-Men? Or even that most things end up reverting back to normal? And why does Cable have the techno virus again? Then again, I’m reminded of my younger brother’s advice of not worrying too much about the canon - just treat each author’s run as separate and only worry about whatever canon they’re explicitly or implicitly referencing. The other nerdy thing is - don’t think too much about the time travel paradoxes. How can future X-Force know that things are diverging from the way they happened before? The very fact that they’re happening differently should be rewriting their memories. As with all time travel stories - just put that part of your brain into cruise control.
This issue seems to reinforce what we saw in Wolverine and the X-Men a while back where Deathlok saw Genesis becoming Apocalypse in the future. In a way, it makes the most sense - we live in a world where the almighty dollar is more important than storytelling and all characters eventually return to the status quo - it’s why death is almost never permanent. At the same time, as I alluded above, a central tenant of this issue is whether the future can be changed. So we’ll see what happens. This issue continues the theme I mentioned in the last issue’s review about the consequences of Fantomex’s actions. After all, it’s his creation of Genesis that leads to the future the X-Force are in.
I don’t want to ruin the plot of this issue for you since this review will either be going up Wednesday or Thursday, but considering the subject (what the world ends up being thanks to the existence of X-Force) and the title of this arc “Final Execution”, I would not be surprised if Rick Remender is lining things up so that this title (or at least his run on the title) will end at the end of Avengers vs X-men. It certainly seems like a very good place to end things, narratively. He’s done a lot with these characters - making me care about some of them way more than I ever did. Shoot, he even writes Deadpool so well that his asides aren’t annoyingly corny. I would actually be happy with it ending as I think X-Force is a concept that should be used sparingly and only with the appropriate writers to keep it from becoming a blood lust comic - after all, it should weigh on the shoulders of the heroes (at least as we have them in the current Marvel universe) to be killing people. I would also see Wolverine not supporting X-Force in the wake of the Avengers vs X-Men events where the X-Men were acting like gods and deciding the fates of others.
I was OK with Phil Noto’s work on the last issue. In this issue we have Totino Tedesco whose gritty style works perfectly with the themes and emotions running in this issue. He also does a great job with some key emotional panels.